Archive for April, 2011

Leather (Pre-Order)

Posted: April 21, 2011 by Nick_J in Record Nerds
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Jade Tree Records has a pre-order up for a new 7″,  “Sterile” by the band Leather. These guys are earth shattering. I miss hearing records that grabbed me like this. If you need punk music that is spazzed out and brilliant, I beg you to check out this band. Like a combo of New Bomb Turks, Hollowmen, National Acrobat, and Born Against.

Get link HERE. Sound clips on there too.

Here’s a little bit that’s been floating around.

With only a hard to find cassette demo, one sold out 7”, a smattering of blog posts and some messageboard banter in their wake, Philadelphia’s Leather have just begun to emerge from an existence unknown to all but those “in the know.” Sterile is surely not the first adjective that crosses one’s mind when confronted with the noisy hardcore on this 4 song EP, aptly described by compatriot and Clockcleaner frontman John Sharkey as the result “…if Tad Doyle had owned Age Of Quarrel and actually listened to it.” It’s safe to say that picking up this vinyl will mean reliving these ten minutes hundreds of times over while waiting for the next recorded dose or a chance to witness a live show (likely to be in a dilapidated warehouse or a basement as grimy as their sound).

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Atmosphere

Posted: April 19, 2011 by Nick_J in Record Nerds
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Album – The Family Sign

Artist
– Atmosphere

Purchased From – Fifth Element

Atmosphere, through good and bad, have always been one of my favorite rap groups. It was strange when they developed such a huge following to the point where every scene of people was listening to them. Especially after being the darling of the indie rap scene for so long. Through all the years of their evolution I think they might have now reached to where the standard definition of rap no longer fits them. Gone are break beats, battle raps, and any form of conventional production. All of these time tested rap traditions have given way to group instrumentation, brash – isolating production and conceptual rhymes. Not that this is Slug’s first foray into the story telling or conceptual rhymes but this record is almost completely that style of rhyme. This (though I’m not sure if I’d be satisfied if the change was permanent) is one of their best…..this is another example of raps evolution.

Now I got to make one clear point when talking about this album and that’s this is the only record where I hear flaws in Slugs lyrics. There are very few examples of bad rhymes on here but when you hear them, they are jarring. There are also some really bad lyrical transitions and tonal connections, things that Slug has always been brilliant at. Overall he rips it though, but those things are noticeable on a couple of tracks. That said, the flow and production/instrumentation of this record is some of the best stuff Atmosphere has ever done. Lots of acoustic and lead guitar work and plenty of piano and bass too. An emotional wreck of an album when the whole thing is finished and it’s washed over you due to it’s immensely personal feel. Musically this album feels super connected and cohesive. For sure their best effort on that level.

Now on to the packaging. Clear vinyl….sounds like shit as with most of the clear I’ve heard lately. The sleeve is a frame that holds whatever silver embossed inserts you choose. This is the pre-order version so it is signed by Slug. Came with a digital download so that’s as should be. I really wish the vinyl sounded better. Hopefully after a cleaning and a few plays it may start to.

I think I have reached a point where Coheed and Cambria are starting to be a pain in my ass. The Second Stage Turbine Blade LP gets reissued and immediately three different versions get put out right off the bat: the green VIP package, the white retailer, and the black tour-only version. It does seem a bit hypocritical of me to bitch and moan about this since I’m into other bands who put way more variants to their releases…ISIS, Converge, Minus the Bear, etc. But for some odd reason, even though there are only three different versions, I found this a bit annoying.

Usually variants are available via a label’s webstore, a specific distro, during the band’s tour, or a friend of a friend of a friend who knows someone who was roommates with a band member’s second distant cousin in Peoria, IL. Or something like that. With Co&Ca reissuing Second Stage Turbine Blade it was no different. Maybe I’m just complaining for the sake of doing so. Ha!

So here it is…the tour-only version of SSTB. The band initially posted that it would be available at shows and have “different/alternate cover art” and be on black 180gram vinyl. And be hand-numbered. Sounds great to me! Well…the “alternate” art was nothing more than a black-and-white version of the regular cover and back art, which in a way was a nice idea but a bit of a letdown. It works with the simplicity of the black vinyl for sure, but I was expecting something completely different and new when I read & heard “alternate” art. Yeah, yeah we’re getting into semantics and reading too much into this. Just being nit-picky as usual.

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Yes. Another post about Mamiffer. I guess I obsess a bit when it comes to certain bands and artists. If the music is good, why not seek it out and get all releases the band puts out?

In yet another priceless release, Mare Decendrii finds Mamiffer exploring more textured and layered music while still retaining that piano-driven that they’re known for. In this release, the group, comprised mainly of Faith Coloccia and Aaron Turner, is beefed up with contributions from members of bands like Russian Circles, Earth, Black Math Horseman, and Circles. The added musicians bring a much-more expansive feel to the band’s sound. I could go on and on about the release but it’d be better to read the review I did for it over at The 1st Five. It will sound a lot better than anything I could write right now.

The vinyl for the release was handled by Conspiracy Records from Belgium. It was available via the SIGE Records webstore on BCD and also Conspiracy’s webstore as well.

The total run is limited to 500 copies with 100 on clear and 400 on black.

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Album – Class Mythology

Artist – Ryan Adams & The Cardinals

Purchased From – Budget Tapes and Records

For people like myself, Juan and Nick today has become a semi-holiday. Record Store Day…the day vinyl buyers, collectors and (regrettably enough) make a quick buck ‘flippers’ mark on the calendars and wait for. Since it started in 2007, the second Saturday of every April has been, as I said, a semi-holiday that ALWAYS features at least one or 10 great releases.

There were a number of things this year that caught my eye and initially had me hyped to try and pick up. But as time went on and the day drew closer it ultimately boiled down to 2 releases that topped my want list; Nirvana’s “Hormoaning” EP re-release and Ryan Adams and The Cardinals double seven inch ‘Class Mythology.’ Luckily I was able to score one of these without having to resort to secondary market/eBay inflated by false sense of value driven by people with entirely too much spare money and no damn sense prices.

This 4 song EP from the ridiculously proficient Ryan Adams originated in the sessions for “Cardinalology.” Pressed on two seven inch records (one on opaque orange, the other on opaque yellow) it comes is a pretty sweet package in a nicely put together (and sturdy) gatefold sleeve.  The outer sleeve artwork is a collage put together by Adams, while the inside of the gatefold features RA & The Cardinals-era photography by Cardinals guitarist Neal Casal.


First Aid Kit

Posted: April 13, 2011 by Nick_J in Uncategorized
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Album – First Aid Kit

Artist – The Big Black and the Blue

Purchased From – Amazon

I discovered these ladies on the Third Man Records website. They are one of a zillion people that that label has put out a single for. I did a little sound searching and found out that I love this.

First Aid Kit are from Sweden but the singing is in perfect English. The music is great acoustic guitar based folkish music.There is a glut of this kind of sound but this group have a very distinct originality, I was instantly hooked.

This came on very nice 180 gram vinyl. The LP was banged up and so was the sleeve so amazon are sending a replacement.

Album – Eulcid

Artist – Hope: and Songs to Sing

Purchased From – Robotic Empire

I always liked Eulcid and when I found this on sale at Robotic Empire I had to pick it up…man was that a great decision. Eulcid played rock like Rites of Spring meets Dinosaur Jr. meets something from Lovitt Records. I hate to put it that way cause this band is way hard to describe but that’s the best I can come up with. These guys had a pretty cool history featuring members of tons of bands that you love. That history is chronicled by Second Nature HERE. This is a band that if you don’t have all their shit you might want to get their two records cause they really are fantastic.


Yes, I know that this is a vinyl blog. But we have done a few non-vinyl posts in the past and this release is worth noting.

If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, it’s already well-known that I am a big fanboy of all things A. Turner. Given that ISIS has ended, Turner has turned his skills into not only his House of Low Culture project, but also going full-on with Mamiffer, which initially started as his wife’s, Faith Coloccia, vehicle for creativity after the dissolution of Everlovely Lightningheart.

Mamiffer recently release their second album, Mare Decendrii, and it is awesome. Peep at the review I wrote for it here to get a good sense of how great it is. Or better yet, go out and buy it and listen for yourself.

One thing that has always impressed me about Mamiffer, and in turn Coloccia and Turner, is that they continue to put out new material as soon as it’s released. A mere weeks after the release of Mare Decendrii, Hydra Head put out a split cassette with Demian Johnston.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cold Cave

Posted: April 5, 2011 by They Still Press Vinyl in Record Nerds
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Album – Cherish The Light Years

Artist – Cold Cave

Purchased From – Matador Records

Like many others who listen to those types of things, I was first introduced to the work of Wes Eisold through his time in American Nightmare. I never really got into his other projects post-AN for one reason or another, I’d check out a couple things here and there when I’d hear about them but for whatever reason they just never ‘stuck’ with me past that initial exploratory listen. Cold Cave, however, is a different beast and has very much ‘stuck’ in my music rotation.

I remember reading a lot about Cold Cave around the time ‘Love Comes Close’ really started to spread like wildfire and finally got around to checking that album out the later part of that year. I was immediately hooked. Not that they were doing anything ridiculously original; it was obvious that a lot of the synth pop of the 80’s and especially stuff like Joy Division was heavily influencing what was coming out of the Cold Cave camp. But, like I said, for whatever reason the music just ‘stuck’ with me…to the point that ‘Love Comes Close’ took up a semi-permanent rotation in my iPod at the time.

After almost 2 years (with a couple one off and remix projects thrown in to fill the time) Cold Cave has finally dropped a new full length. But, this time, they’ve broadened their influence and creativity range and produced an album that, to me at least, trumps “Loves Comes Close.” Yeah, the Joy Division/80’s synth pop influence is still heavily obvious but there’s more going on here. A prime example is the song “Alchemy and You’; an uptempo song, it’s built in large part on a wicked horn loop (pretty sure it’s a trumpet, but I digress) and it’s just a song that you will probably find yourself listening to a lot. Now I admit I’m not a synth pop encyclopedia or anything but I don’t know too many bands of that style/genre that would or could build a song around a trumpet loop.

As for the vinyl itself, it’s on black with very simple black and red center labels. The liner note insert ties into the package really nicely too and the whole package came with a neat little double sided poster promoting the album. All in all a solid package for a great record from a good label.

Album – Black Thunder

Artist – Doomriders

Purchased From – Magic Bullet

I got this cause It’s a great record, I didn’t have it on vinyl and Magic Bullet always has fantastic deals on record. Bummer Brent may be one of the biggest pieces of shit in HC. I really like the color of this vinyl and man do these cats melt faces. I may be in the minority here but I think this record blows away their latest one. There is something primal and messy about this one that I don’t get in their last album. Who know that may change in time as my opinions on music constantly develop and change.

There were two colors in this pressing, here’s the scoop on the one I got.

The second variation is “PURPLE HAZE.” It’s a lavender/light purple marbly melange of a color. Either way, it’s entirely based on the background haze of the front cover at that Jebb painted. I thought it would be really cool to have the record itself look like an extension of that since we never really had that before on this title. Again, about 250 of these exist.